Horned Frogs open baseball season with shutout victory

Posted Friday, Feb. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The baseball gods appeared to look down with favor in providing perfect weather for a Friday evening season opener between TCU and visitor Jacksonville.

Brandon Finnegan, meanwhile, gave the 3,742 assembled at Lupton Stadium a glimpse of perfection.

The junior lefty from Fort Worth Southwest struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced as part of seven shutout innings and a career-high 13 strikeouts in the Horned Frogs’ 5-0 victory in the first of a three-game weekend set against the Dolphins.

Finnegan limited Jacksonville to three hits and three walks.

Jerrick Suiter, who had two RBIs, and Kyle Bacak each had two-out run-scoring hits.

Finnegan didn’t seem a mere mortal until allowing his first base runner on Connor Marabell’s single to left in the fourth inning.

He threw both his fastball and off-speed pitches for strikes. Of his first 51 pitches, only 13 were balls. For the game, he threw 98 pitches and 72 for strikes.

“All I wanted to do was pound the zone as best as I could,” Finnegan said. “I knew if I threw strikes and we got outs, we’d win.”

Trey Teakell pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to wrap up the game for the Frogs.

The victory was Finnegan’s first since June 2012 against Mississippi in the NCAA Regionals. Finnegan suffered from a lack of run support a season ago when he went 0-8 with a 3.18 ERA in 15 starts.

The Frogs got enough offense in Game 1.

Suiter and Bacak had run-scoring singles in the first and second innings, and Kevin Cron opened the game with a two-run double in the seventh.

Cody Jones, TCU’s leadoff hitter, reached base in each of his four at-bats with three hits and a walk. He also had two stolen bases and two runs scored.

“My job is to set the tone for the game with a positive at-bat,” said Jones, the center fielder. “The goal is to get in position for the big guys to drive me in.

“And Brandon ... what else do you need from a pitcher? He was awesome.”

Jacksonville starter Alex McRae took the loss. He gave up three runs on six hits in five innings.

Jacksonville coach Tim Montez was impressed enough with the TCU starter to compare him to Cliff Lee, whom Montez coached at Arkansas.

“When he’s in control of his emotions that allows him to be in control of his body, which allows him to be in control of his pitches,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

“He was very, very impressive. You couldn’t ask for much more in a first outing.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
San Francisco 10/22 8:07 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Two. San Francisco leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Houston 10/22 7:00 PM ET
Orlando TV: CSN-HOU
Brooklyn 10/22 7:30 PM ET
Boston TV: CSN-NE
Washington 10/22 7:30 PM ET
New York TV: MSG
Cleveland 10/22 8:00 PM ET
Memphis TV: ESPN, FSN-OH
Minnesota 10/22 8:00 PM ET
Milwaukee TV: FSN-N, FSN-WIS
Atlanta 10/22 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio 
Portland 10/22 10:00 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: TWC SN, D
Phoenix 10/22 10:30 PM ET
LA Clippers TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Toronto 10/22 7:00 PM ET
Ottawa TV: TVA Sports, SN
Philadelphia 10/22 8:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: NBCSN, TVA Sports 2
Washington 10/22 9:30 PM ET
Edmonton TV: SN1, CSN-DC, SN360
Buffalo 10/22 10:30 PM ET
Anaheim TV: MSG-BUF, FSN-PT
Full Scoreboard